Learn how to make a perfect cup of Jordanian Arabic Coffee, a black cardamom-flavored coffee, a must to offer to guests as a sign of respect and hospitality.
It’s time for the MENA (Middle Eastern & North African) Cooking Group. This monthly group has for goal to help us discover the culture and cuisine of the countries found in these parts of the world. Each month we get three proposed recipes from the country of the month and the members pick one dish to make. This month we are going back to Jordan and we will make a Jordanian Arabic coffee.
Located in the Middle East, it has a small shore of only 28km on the Red Sea. Otherwise it is bordered by Israel and the West Bank, Syria, Iraq and by Saudi Arabia. Its capital city is Amman. There is evidence of human activity going back about 90,000 years and it has seen growing pains but the future looks bright. Jordan acceded to the World Trade Organization in January 2000, and signed free trade agreements with the United States in 2000. And with the European Free Trade Association in 2001. There is no hostility between Muslims and Christians, and Jordan is one of the most modern and liberal nations in the region.
The biggest attraction in the whole country is the Archaeological Ruins at Petra, an ancient city carved out of sandstone. It is one of the new 7 Wonders. The cities of Amman, Jerash, Madaba and Aqaba are full of fascinating tourist spots like churches, archaeological museums, and Roman ruins. One should also visit the Dead Sea to experience floating; the Sharhabil Bin Hassneh EcoPark; and the Bedouin Meditation Camp in the Wadi Rum World Heritage Area.
Meals are a time of celebration. Food is a very important aspect of Jordanian culture and meals are often a community event. In other words food is used by Jordanians to express their hospitality and generosity.
There is wide variety of cooking techniques used in Jordanian cuisine. Baking, roasting, grilling, stuffing of vegetables (grape leaves, eggplants, zucchinis) with meat, and preparing special sauces are some of them. Olive oil, herbs, garlic, spices, onion, tomato sauce and lemon are typical flavors found in Jordan. Dishes can vary from extremely spicy to mild.
Jordanian Arabic Coffee
In Jordan, Arabic coffee is a culturally ingrained sign of respect and must be served to guests. It is is called Qahwah Sādah, or Welcome Coffee and it is served normally WITHOUT SUGAR but with a plate of dates or candied pieces of fruit. A whole protocol is associated with the service of Jordanian coffee, usually served in small cups.
The roots of this coffee can be found in Bedouin culture, a nomadic ethnic group that live in the Middle Eastern deserts. They would often transport the coffee beans from one country to another with their caravans.
My Jordanian Arabic coffee is sourced really from several places, no two are made exactly the same. The process always remains almost identical with minor changes. What you will need to make this recipe though is dark roast coffee, preferably whole bean that you can grind fresh as fine as you can, finer that an espresso, and a small Turkish Coffee maker or Milk Warmer.
I expected a bitter boiled coffee, that was not the case at all. I really loved this recipe and I am happy that I did put sugar in it (for my personal taste). The result was a rich and strong beautifully perfumed coffee with hints of cardamom and saffron. And any leftover tastes fabulous the next day as a cold coffee when taken out of the fridge.
I just posted a video of my making this Jordanian Arabic coffee and you get to see me do a mess too ha ha! Make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel so you do not miss a single new video to come. The recipe is just below.
Check out the other bloggers below who participated this month and look for the hashtag #menacookingclub. Why not join us as well get the info here MENA Cooking Club.
Jordanian Arabic Coffee
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 heaping tablespoons dark roast coffee finely ground
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 tablespoon sugar optional
- 1 pinch saffron optional
- Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan or Turkish Coffee maker or milk warmer. If using sugar, add to water when close to a boil and stir till dissolved.
- Lower heat a bit, add coffee (do not stir), and bring to a quick boil on the heat and wait for the coffee to foam. Remove from heat.
- Repeat the quick boil process a second time.
- Add cardamom and saffron. Repeat the quick boil process a third time.
- Remove from heat and leave for a few seconds so the coffee can settle at the bottom.
- Poor a little bit at a time in 4 small coffee glasses or cup, to evenly distribute the coffee and grounds. Enjoy!
Looking for more fun and unusual coffees?
How amazing! My kinda coffee. The cups are gorgeous!
Thanks Sonali and yeah the cups are a hit lol.
This sounds delicious, love the idea of adding saffron and cardamom!
Thanks 🙂 and it is surprising what the cardamom does, and a touch of saffron.
Serving coffee seems to be common throughout the Middle East as a way to show hospitality. My former neighbors were from Lebanon and would offer us a thick coffee similar to Turkish coffee. I’ve never had Jordanian Arabic coffee, but it sounds flavorful with the cardamom and saffron. Really enjoyed learning about this via your post and video!
Yes it is a very common practice in all the Middle East, to bad we do not do it as much 🙂 But that is so nice your neighbors did! Thanks for your lovely comment 🙂
Have had Turkish coffee before – but this sounds like it would be much more flavourful with the cardamon and saffron added.
They are very similar but yes the cardamom gives is a lot of umph. Honestly did not taste the saffron but it can onoly do good lol.
I’d never heard of Jordan Arabic coffee before but I can taste the cardamon flavours as you’re describing it, mmm… I’m like you & always add a touch of sugar to my coffee for a little bit of balance 🙂
Coffee and cardamom is a beuatiful pairing! ANd yes for s short srtong shot liek this, totally agree a touch of sugar is a must 🙂
That is so interesting…cardamon in coffee…thanks for the inspiration Evelyne!
I hope you are having a wonderful week 🙂
It is a really great pairing, unexpected surprise Juliana 🙂
I love that it’s served with dates! I bet that is pretty good.
Great idea I know, it replaces the sugar for some in the coffee.
I am a coffee lover…I just have never understood the whole tea thing, and I am 72% British!
LOL I laughed out loud. I like both but I lean towards coffee a lot more too. I have discovered high quality Chinese teas though, they are fabulous when the mood strikes.
Mmmm, coffee! Drink some right now. 🙂 Don’t believe I’ve ever had Jordanian coffee, nor any made with cardamon. Sounds wonderful! Thanks so much for this.
Yes the 3 pm coffee craving is coming, need one soon lol. Suprisingly the cardamom works super well!
I do love coffee with cardamon, I think it probably comes from years when my parents lived in the Middle East
Thanks Fiona for your commment, I was surpised how well they pair it was delicious 🙂
I don’t drink much coffee but Arabic coffee is an exception! I find it such a treat. Great idea to share a recipe 😀
I can see this could be a favorite for non coffee drinkers. Glad you liked the post!
Aah you take me back to Jordan, we visited in 2003, just before America invaded its neighbour. What that meant was a country with next to no tourists present – great for us but a huge blow to the tourist industry there. Love your post introducing both Jordan and the welcome coffee!
Oh wow how lucky for you to have visited then Kavey!Yes the tourist industry took a hit, hopefully getting stronger in time. I bet you had a lot of this coffee there?
The Jordanian traditions really sound neat. I love learning about the different customs associated with food/drink in other countries. I’d love to try your recipe!
Julie I hope one day to show you hospitality by making a cup for you 🙂
Good tradition! I love strong black hot coffee, cardamom might work too! I’d give it a try for sure. Thanks, Evelyne!
I know the cardamom sounds weird…but it really works 😀
I love this Jordanian tradition! When I drank coffee, I liked it black, but having some dates to accompany it sounds yummy!
I should try it once without the sugar like you, with a date nearby. I just really do not want to add milk to it lol.
Wow, it looks amazing. I will have to go make me a cup too. Great job!!!
Thank you Noor 🙂
The coffee looks really strong! Pretty looking glasses too… I love love my coffee with a hint of cardamom…
I love the cardamom too Raffeda. it was strong but not bitter. The glasses seem to be a hit lol.
Sounds really great with saffron and cardamom!
Yes they are lovely added notes Angie 🙂
I am a tea person but I can’t resist the smell of freshly ground coffee!
It reminds me of Eid mornings. This coffee is served in almost every occasion in Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria and probably other countries too.
It is served with sugar in eid and in social events, without in funerals. Some like it dark and extra roasted, others use a medium blend. Your beautiful cups and write up brought back many memories, thank you
Thank you Sawsan so glad my post brough bakc memories. I know fresh ground coffee smells so good 🙂 I read also at funerals they add more coffee so it is bitter. Love how you can play up the coffee to go with mood or circumstance.
That strong a cup of coffee definitely needs a little bit of sugar. The saffron, cardamom and the coffee itself lets out a wonderful aroma which is hard to resist!
YEs a but of sugar was how I liked it Ria 🙂 it kept the milk away lol.I was in love with the smell.
Wow! those cups are so perfect for this coffee! From what I know the arab coffee are served without sugar but with a bowl of dates. So you eat dates and take a sip of the coffee and that is a match made. But when I make at home, I sometimes just add sugar! lol. I can’t take my eyes off the cups…
The cups are a hit Famidha indeed with everyone lol. Yes I mention the dates in my post, must be very good too. And yes I think a touch of sugar makes it very good lol
Have you been to Jordan? I’ve had this coffee served to me without sugar in an Arabic house in Jerusalem.
No I have not been there, would like to. Yes I know normally it is without sugar….I put it as optional in the ingredients only. It is for a matter of personal taste 🙂
I’ve heard of cardamom in coffee, but had no idea of its origins. Bet is smell wonderful as well as tastes great! IN the recipe you say a pinch of saffron then 2 heaping tablespoons ? I’d like try this. Thanks!
Oops thanks for spotting that, bad cut and paste,now fixed. It is a really lovely smell and taste. And one small cup is enough for energy boost lol. Video coming out tomorrow!
Where did you get these cups from!!! They are very famous around the Middle East :). Food is a must way all around the Middle East to express hospitality and generosity. In Egypt, Qahwa Sada means plain coffee which means no sugar or milk added and this always is served during funerals, but also it is some people’s best way to drink coffee. I always like mine with milk and a hint of cinnamon instead of cardamom. I like this version too.
Are they? I have had them forever, I think it was a gift from a friend that went to Morocco…maybe lol. Yes I also read Sada meant nothing added. And read also they sometimes put more coffee for funerals so the coffee is more bitter. So much meaning every gesture 🙂 Oh I may try cinnamon next time.
Love the cups!
Thanks Debra 🙂